Unsolved:The Wonders of Nature

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The Wonders of Nature and Providence, Displayed. Compiled from Authentic Sources, Both Ancient and Modern, Giving an Account of Various and Strange Phenomena Existing in Nature, of Travels, Adventures, Singular Providences, &c.
AuthorJosiah Priest
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
PublisherJosiah Priest
Publication date
1826
Media typePrint (Hardcover & Paperback)
Pages600 pp (Paperback edition)

The Wonders of Nature[1] is a book by Josiah Priest that was published in 1826.[2] The book starts off giving God the honor of creating everything with the main focus being on the incredible nature, which seen by the author, is controlled by God. The "wonders of nature," which include a number of examples of what are now termed cryptozoology and anomalistics, are concluded in the book to be proof that God lives and interferes. The author condemns people who deny the existence of God.

Contents

The book is divided under different subjects. Here, they can be seen categorized under the following categories:

  • Religious: Curious apparitions, a remarkable dream and its fulfillment, idol worship of Mexicans, the Spanish inquisition, supernatural phenomena, the providence of God and supernatural interference.
  • Nature: The Horn Nosed Snake of Africa, the Halcydrus Pontoppidani, the Rattle Snake's account, the fossil asbestos, iron, echoes and diamond mines in Hindostan.
  • Accounts and travels: A remarkable account of a sea captain, the travels of Bruce in various parts of the southern hemisphere, account of David Sands, travels and adventures among savages.
  • Phenomena: The phenomena of meteors and other fires, the phenomena of whirlwinds and water spouts, the phenomena of fire and earthquakes, phenomena of stone being thrown from the moon, and observations on comets.
  • Other: Clockwork, chemical mistakes by infidels and embalming.

Proposed plagiarism by Joseph Smith, Jr.

Some critics of Mormonism, such as Jerald and Sandra Tanner and Richard Arbanes,[3] consider The Wonders of Nature to be a relevant work for its historical connection to Mormonism. David Persuitte concluded that there were a number of parallels between the Book of Mormon and The Wonders of Nature.[4] The Wonders of Nature was published five years before the Book of Mormon was published and Josiah Priest knew Oliver Cowdery, who later assisted Joseph Smith, Jr. with the production of the Book of Mormon. The chapter of Priest's book that is of interest in regards to this subject is "Northern and Western Indians, Proofs that the Indians of North America were lineally descended from the ancient Hebrews." Page 377 indicates that the origins of the North American Indians were speculated to be of Hebrew descent for at least 50 years before the writing of this book. Other theories about the Ten Lost Tribes in the Americas date back to the 17th century.

References

  1. Full title: The Wonders of Nature and Providence, Displayed. Compiled from Authentic Sources, Both Ancient and Modern, Giving an Account of Various and Strange Phenomena Existing in Nature, of Travels, Adventures, Singular Providences, &c.
  2. The Wonders of Nature and Providence, Displayed. J. Priest. 1826. https://archive.org/details/wondersnaturean00priegoog. 
  3. "Question: Did Joseph Smith plagiarize Josiah Priest's The Wonders of Nature and Providence Displayed?". https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Book_of_Mormon_plagiarism_accusations/The_Wonders_of_Nature. Retrieved 2019-09-14. 
  4. Persuite